Manga Review: Haikyu V 19 by Haruichi Furudate @shonenjump

May Contain Spoilers

Hold the phone! The battle between Karasuno and Shiratorizawa rages on! Who will win? How many volumes will it take to contain this game?!

Viz generously provided me with a review copy of volume 19, so I didn’t have to wait until after the New Year to pick up where we left off. And where was that? Oh, yeah, during the volleyball slugfest between two tenacious high school teams. Shiratorizawa takes a more traditional approach to the game, while Karasuno has a more off the cuff playing style. Shiratorizawa had the advantage of strength and height, while Karasuno is made up of a team of stubborn, never say die players. Even when they are clinging to the cliff of defeat by their fingernails, they still manage to get it together enough to pull out a surprise play that keeps them in contention.

I enjoyed that Kei was given a splash of the spotlight during this tough match. Kageyama and Hinata are constantly hogging it, with their flashy teamwork and combos. Now it’s Tsukishima’s turn to make some impressive plays. And I think that a guy who showed up for volleyball practice out of a sense of duty has finally found a love for the game. Before he was going through the motions, but after a super-duper block, I think that a spark of competitiveness and appreciation of the game has finally lit inside his usual standoffish heart.

It was fun to see Grandpa Ukai make an appearance in the audience. It was also fun to learn more about the players and what motivates them, and to see how they react under the intense pressure they are under. If they lose this match, they are done. The season is over, the 3rd years will never get to go to Nationals, and Hinata will probably cry himself to sleep.

Grade: 4.25 stars

Review copy provided by publisher

About the book:

Shoyo Hinata is out to prove that in volleyball you don’t need to be tall to fly! Ever since he saw the legendary player known as “the Little Giant” compete at the national volleyball finals, Shoyo Hinata has been aiming to be the best volleyball player ever! Who says you need to be tall to play volleyball when you can jump higher than anyone else?

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